Warnings from the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool of an epidemic of children having wholly preventable illnesses form the basis of tonight’s BBC1 Panorama documentary “Spoilt Rotten”.
This harsh reality was surmised by Alder Hey’s medical director, Dr Steve Ryan, who suggested that “people are starting to say maybe this is a generation where children will be dying before their parents”.
That horrendous thought is based on medical statistics from the hospital:
- Over half of the 1,000 annual dental operations are on children under the age of six, often with severe, preventable tooth decay.
- Up to 1,000 children each year are admitted to hospital because of the effects of their parents’ passive smoking.
- Obesity rates in both children and adults is increasing rapidly, up from 5,056 in 2007-087 to 8,085 for 2008-09.
Dr Ryan continued, “I think that we’ve never been here before. We’ve never faced this epidemic. It didn’t happen in history. There were cholera epidemics, measles epidemics, whooping cough epidemics…(this) is subtle. It is in the background. But it’s massive.”
The Panorama programme can be seen tonight (Tuesday 13 April) at 9pm, or alternatively on BBC iPlayer.